August 1, 2017

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development and the Film Office are excited to announce the filming of a major feature film in western Nebraska. “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” is a feature-length omnibus consisting of six separate stories, all Westerns. The majority of filming takes place in New Mexico and Colorado. The story set in Nebraska, “The Gal Who Got Rattled,” follows two trail bosses on the Oregon Trail and a woman on the wagon train who needs the help of one of them and who might be a marriage prospect for the other.

The production, produced by Annapurna Pictures, is preparing to film on location in western Nebraska in September.

The screenplay called for the Oregon Trail, and the Sandhills of Nebraska. The Film Office has been working with the location manager for the past several months. The directors and producers scouted locations with the Film Officer, Laurie Richards and Starr Lehl, Economic Development Director for the City of Scottsbluff over the past several months.

“We took the location manager to several locations on the southern edge of the Sandhills. Productions of this size need lots of local resources such as hotel/motel accommodations, food, transportation and local crew and services. We had to stay close to the larger cities of the state with those amenities,” said Laurie Richards, Nebraska Film Officer. “The locations department and the producers and directors really loved what we sent them, but they wanted to find several looks within one area in order to manage their time and work efficiently. Starr Lehl escorted the location assistant for a day of scouting and he fell in love with a ranch that offered a large variety of vistas and open spaces with no sign of civilization. Starr’s involvement has been stellar! She knows everyone in the area and has been extremely helpful in finding the main locations for the majority of filming.”

Casting for the project has included such possibilities as James Franco, Zoe Kazan and Tim Blake Nelson among others. Other being considered are Tyne Daly, Ralph Ineson and Stephen Root.

“The economic impact of the project will be huge,” said Richards. “The production is filming in several locations throughout the Rocky Mountain range, from New Mexico to Colorado. Nebraska has the authentic look needed for this period film that takes place on the Oregon Trial. We are very excited to host this project with the Coen brothers in Nebraska. They are Oscar winning directors/writers/producers with a huge presence in the industry. This is an important project for Nebraska on many levels. The visuals of the film will showcase Nebraska’s beauty not seen on the screen since “Sea of Grass,” 1947 with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, filmed in Cherry County. The beauty of the Nebraska prairie will certainly be a character in the story.”

For more information contact: Laurie Richards, Nebraska Film Officer,
By Adrian Gomez / Journal Arts and Entertainment Editor
Published: Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 at 3:03pm
Updated: Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 at 10:55pm